The beginning of spring always makes me feel heavy with loss. It is the anniversary of all bad things that have occurred thus far in my life. This year, it seems many of those close to me are suffering through their own losses. When the sun emerges and flowers begin to bloom, I lose sight that spring is supposed to be a renewal of sorts, a new beginning. My heart hurts, my throat closes up, and I want to hibernate in my bed until summer vacation.
Last March, Noe's speech therapist gave birth to a baby girl. In August, her beautiful baby was lost to SIDS. Over the past few months, I have silently sent hundreds of prayers her way, hoping she and her husband would find peace amidst the unimaginable. And I often wondered why a woman who had dedicated her life to improving the lives of other people's children had to endure losing her own. Wednesday morning, I took Noe to her office, just like I have twice a week since he was three years old. Before we left, she excitedly announced that she was 18 weeks pregnant with a little boy. I could not hold back my tears and soon we were hugging and SHE was comforting ME.
Now how is that for giving comfort to those who mourn? (Matthew 5:4)
It was a timely reminder to me that rebirth is the natural consequence of loss. Noe's entrance into the world, more than any other act, helped me heal from the wounds left from my father’s tragic death. Noe, and the gaggle of grandchildren who followed him, have changed the focus of our entire family from death and grief to life and joy. Every birth marks a milestone for our family, a new positive focus. Maybe this makes me crazy...or Mormon (or many these days would argue both), but I truly believe that my dad knew and loved each of his grandkids before they were sent to us. I also believe that he advised each of his grandchildren exhaustively on how to best aggravate their parents, sending us scavenging into the dark recesses of kitchen cupboards for chocolate before noon most days.
Rebirth isn't always so literal nor is it always a single event. Ed's rebirth from enduring a family pattern of alcoholism is to wake up each day and to be a stellar father, husband, and provider. My sister had the courage to end a bad marriage and go back to school. Her personal rebirth is her art and the new life she has created with her wonderful and kind second husband.
My own daily renewal takes place in the early hours of each morning, pumping out 9ish minute mediocre miles along the wooded trails of Reston. I won't be winning any race medals, but I will have won my daily dose of sanity and hope for the day. Hope that the new day will bring new language and skills for Noe. Hope that my own personal demons will remain silent. Hope that my family will end the day together and safe. Because my life thus far has taught me to take none of these things for granted.